“Bellingham has no weakness.”
Harry Kane was pretty sure of himself when he made the statement after England’s thumping victory over Senegal in the round of 16 at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Jude Bellingham, a 19-year-old from Stourbridge, West Midlands, scored the opening goal of the English campaign against Iran.
Since then, the young and lively midfielder has gone from strength to strength, all while keeping England in the race for an honour that has evaded them since 1966.
Bellingham’s true worth has been on display since his switch to Borussia Dortmund from Birmingham City in 2020. Gareth Southgate has relied on the youngster for far too long, and Bellingham has answered his every call.
Bellingham credits his grittiness and composure on the pitch today to his days at Birmingham, but more importantly to his father, Mark.
After the game against Senegal, Bellingham found his parents in the stand and clicked a quick selfie.
The photo, which has now surfaced on social media, shows the ecstatic faces of Jude’s parents – Mark and Denise Bellingham and shows the ethnicity of his parents.
Mark was born in Southend and has an illustrious history in the non-league football system in England.
That’s not all! Mark is also a sergeant in the West Midlands Police, so after a quick game of football, Jude’s father is off to his job of protecting the community.
Jude’s mother, Denise, is of African origin and has another son, Jobe, who, like his brother, is in the realm of professional football and currently plays for Birmingham City in the EFL championship.
Both the Bellingham boys have their father to thank for their football genes. Mark was somewhat of a non-league football legend.
During his career, Mark had played for Stourbridge, Halesowen, Bromsgrove, Leamington, and Sutton Coldfield, scoring close to 700 goals.
In an interview with the Guardian, Jude once mentioned, “I used to watch him play all the time. It’s where I started to get that love for football. I think you can see in the way I play that I’ve watched the game from a young age. That non-league style of toughness and being gritty when you need to be is reflected in my game, and I do think that comes from watching my dad play — even though he never tackled!”
Mark has been a prolific part of the non-league system for almost 20 years, while Jude is on the verge of something extraordinary.
The young midfielder had been an unstoppable engine for England and given his improving maturity, it’s only a matter of time before he will have the world at his feet.
Bellingham is up for the biggest challenge of his career so far, a World Cup knockout game against France, and has his parents to thank for it.